Thursday, 31 December 2009

Elton John's Out the Closet 2009

On our last day in London, Rommel and I stumbled upon Elton John's Out of Closet 2009 sale while taking a walk around Covent Garden. I'd seen it in the news that Elton was donating part of his wardrobe to raise funds for his Aids Foundation so we thought we'd check it out.

In less than half an hour, we walked out of there with 4 pairs of posh men's shoes for Rommel (a Bottega, a Dior, a Gucci and a Louis Vuitton) and 5 cashmere scarves for me (Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto).... All for 650 quid. What a bargain... And all for charity too!

After a very good lunch at Kulu Kulu Sushi with the family, we brought my brother and dad back there again for them to have look. The boys came out with another 9 pairs of shoes (ranging from Bottega, Louis Vuitton and others I cannot recall now) - 2 for Rommel, 3 for my brother and 4 for my dad. My dad also bought 2 Versace belts, 1 Gucci jeans (which fit him extremely well, I must add) and 1 Diesel jeans.

So much for the boys not shopping that much!

While they were paying, I was quietly stalking a really nice worn-out brown leather bag. A couple was holding on to it and couldn't seem to decide whether to get it or not. When I finally gave up and started walking out, I saw from the corner of my eye that they'd put the bag back on the rack and I practically jumped over and grabbed it. I had no idea what brand was John Varvatos (which I later found out to be a designer specialising in menswear, figures), I didn't even check the bag properly, and I just grabbed it and headed to the cashier. The bag was pretty much brand new and cost me 195 quid, vs the original price (the tag was still in the bag) of US$995. I love it!

As we walked out, we were stopped by some journalists from the Daily Mail, asking questions about what we bought and what we thought about the sale etc. Here is the article following that "interview".

I wont post the whole thing but here is the snippet on us:

"Shoes were the biggest sellers. The Chong family, on holiday from Malaysia, went crazy for Elton's distinctly unshocking black and brown leather loafer collection, rather than his Versace black bovver boots with diamond encrusted toes.

Between them, they bought 13 pairs of sensible Bottega Veneta shoes for £99 each and armfuls of cashmere scarves by Yohji Yamamoto for £50 a throw.

'Your Song is one of my favourite records,' said John Chong, 55, an owner of a chemical business. 'But that's not why I bought all this - they're just great bargains.' "

Looks like it's not only my mother who knows how to shop.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Knit FO: Isabelle's dress

Say "Hi!" to the super-cute, super-chatty Isabelle!

She is wearing the dress/top I made for her second birthday in September. This is my first attempt at kidswear and I only had 3 days to complete it (her birthday party was a week earlier than I thought so I had to rush). I was rather nervous about giving it to her, you know, worried that it wouldn't fit, worried that it would be uncomfortable etc... I met up with her and her parents Tim and Jo last night and they said that it fit her well. I hadn't seen this picture Jo posted on Facebook so decided to check it out.

Pattern: None really. I just followed the instructions from the aunties at Jet Sun Sg Wang where I bought the yarn from.

Here goes:
CO 130 stitches on circular needles and join.
Knit in stockingnette stitch until desired length for the skirt portion.
Decrease until it's half the number of stitches (i.e. K2tog one round).
*K1, P1* repeat for about 3-4 inches and bind off. (You can also do a K2, P2 rib.)

This forms the basic tube dress. I then crocheted simple straps onto the dress which can be tied and adjusted so that as she grows up, Mommy can adjust the lengths and make it a top. Judging from the picture, I'll say the dress grew too short very quickly since Isabelle is tall for her age. Or it was just my own bad estimation for children's clothes.

Yarn: Katia Bombay, 2 skeins in Pink (Lot No. 2004) - lovely colours in cool cotton, perfect for our tropical weather!

Needles: 4mm/60cm circulars.

Confession - I bought 2 more skeins of Katia Bombay to make another baby dress but have not been motivated to finish it. I'm now thinking of ripping it all out and starting something different. We'll see!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Cilantro tonight!

I have been anticipating the reopening of Cilantro since its closure for renovations over a year ago. I have heard so much about it since coming home from London and starting work in KL but never got round to trying it. Then when I finally decided to give it a try, it closed for the MiCasa renovations. :(

I have since tried Sage, Cilantro's sister restaurant in The Gardens (blogged about it once here) and have enjoyed many great meals there (which I took many pictures of but never got round to blogging about them - New Year resolution - to actually post all the food pictures I keep taking!).

When I heard from Rommel that Cilantro had reopened, we knew at once we had to give it a try. Tonight was one of the few spare nights we have left (before my brother flies off back to London next week) and I managed to get us a table. Yippee...... Good nom tonight!

And just for comparison, I'll be having dinner at Sage at the end of the week. ;) Good thing losing weight isn't on my New Year resolutions list.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Have a Blessed and Joyful Christmas!

Wishing everyone a Blessed and Joyful Christmas!

Here are some pics from London.... (while we are still sorting the rest out)

My sister's graduation was held in Southwark Cathedral - which sounded awfully familiar to both of us and we didn't realise why until we got there. It's the church right next to Borough market! We knew it was in that area but hadn't realise that it was that same church we've been staring at all this while.

After the photo taking sessions, my parents and sister headed into the cathedral for the ceremony while Rommel and I headed towards iKnit (which btw I now realise I didn't take pictures in because I was busy playing with yarn).

Of course, we had to stop by and peek into Borough market, which was expectedly quiet on a Wednesday afternoon. My usual fishmonger was open though and I found it funny that they were selling curries from my part of the world.. I ended up getting their Furness fish soup which was good. And the Thai green curry looked good I must say.

This is me waiting patiently outside my favourite sandwich shop, Farmer Brown in Covent Garden. I used to live less than one minute walk from this shop during my uni days (so I ate there almost all the time!). This time around, we stayed at the Citadines Trafalgar Square (I got a good bargain for a 6 person apartment) which is about a 10 minute walk from Farmer Brown on New Row. Needless to say, I made everyone have this for breakfast at least 3 times (we were in London for a total of 6 days). When they were lazy to walk out in the cold winter morning, Rommel and I walked out and packed the sandwiches for them. Great, now I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

And finally, I am grinning from ear to ear at the discovery of this market stall somewhere in Bath selling haberdashery. We were walking around going from one Christmas market to another when I stumbled across this place. I didn't buy any yarn though, having just splurged in iKnit a few days earlier. And, the yarns were mostly Sirdar and other brands which I knew I could get in Spotlight Singapore so why waste luggage space?

That's it for now.... Happy Holidays!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Bonjour from Paris

It's our third and final night in Paris before heading back to London. It's been pretty good so far... We've done the must-do touristy stuff (Tour Eiffel and Musee du Lourve done), had probably our best meal on this entire trip in a quaint French restaurant near our hotel (we're staying in the St Germain des Pres area) and also shopped quite a bit!

We arrived at Tour Eiffel around sunset but didn't quite manage to walk up in time to take sunset pictures. Patteh, Rommel and I walked up to the second level too and it was freezing! Good to know I seem to have lost my fear of heights this time around. The last time I walked up Tour Eiffel 4 years ago, I was scared to walk to the Level 2!

Here I am with my brother after we reached Level 2.

Sadly, we were not able to walk the entire Lourve (which I guesstimate to take about 3 days at least). But we walked through my favourite part - the paintings.
We met Monalisa, who has moved to a much better location from where I remember her to be. We also went to see Aphrodite (sorry picture is in my sister's camera).

That's it for now.... Now we have to decide where to go for dinner. We wanted to go back to that quaint little restaurant I mentioned earlier but it's fully-booked today (it is Saturday after all). I tried booking Ze Kitchen Galerie literally the moment we arrived but they were not as friendly and told us they were full for both lunch and dinner until next week. Let's hope we find something good!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

And... we're back in London!

First: I stocked up on my yarn stash at iKnit!!! Had great fun in there playing with yarn noms while Rommel had some ginger beer and shandy to entertain himself. I also finally bought a swift and the KnitPicks interchangeable needles set.... Yippee! This was during sister's graduation ceremony since only my parents went in for it and Rommel and I had one and a half hours to spare.

After sister's graduation ceremony at Southwark Cathedral (which incidentally was RIGHT next to Borough market = perfect!), we headed for Shrewsbury to visit my brother. Or so was the plan...

We did see him yes, over dinner on the first night we arrived at our accommodation - Acton Pigot B&B which was 2 mins drive from Concord. The next day, we didn't see him at all! Cos we were too busy shopping at Cheshire Oaks up in Chester. I planned for this little "detour" to keep my mom occupied and shop she did. Ok ok, we all did!

We arrived back in Acton Pigot late in the night with our 9-seater VW filled with shopping bags. John, the owner of Acton Pigot, was amazed at the amount we bought.

Our next trip was to Bath which was supposed to be some all historic site visit but I also timed that to be at the same time as the annual Bath Christmas market (read: SHOPPING). I'm not sure now if that was a good thing because it was raining all of Saturday, the streets of Bath was so packed with shoppers and all restaurants and cafes were full of ppl. Madness!! We ended up heading back to the hotel early after sunset mass at the St John the Evangelist church and packed Thai food for dinner! The weather improved the next day so we had some time to shop in Bath.... *phew*..

Now back in London, spent the whole day at Westfield, the new shopping mall near Hammersmith since the weather was looking good at all for walking about outside. My brother is on his way down from his Cambridge interview (hope it went well, Fatteh!) so we're waiting for dinner....

That's it for now.... more updates to come!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Hello from London

It's Day 1 in London and it's cold. We spoke to friends and shop assistants and they said it's the coldest day so far this year. The BBC weather forecast says it's supposed to get warmer tomorrow. Let's hope so!

We had breakfast at my old favourite: Farmer Brown on New Row in Covent Garden... Yum! Pictures to come.

We also covered a good number of places today. Started with sister's uni for her to sort out stuff, then St Pancras Intl to collect our Eurostar tickets and then it was Camden Town since we were already up North. Came back to the centre for some M&S essential shopping.

Ok that's it for now! Someone's waiting to use the computer.... Ta.....

Monday, 23 November 2009

Phuket August 2009

For my birthday this year, I asked for a family trip to Phuket. It helps that my birthday falls on the day after our Independence Day (31 Aug) so there's usually a long weekend involved.

Here I am snorkeling at Ko Khai (Egg Island, because the island is shaped like an egg according to our guide).

Rommel and I fell in love with Koh Khai during our February trip. We took the full day Koh Phi Phi tour which included a stop over in Koh Khai to swim and play with the fishes.... We enjoyed Koh Khai so much (and thought Koh Phi Phi was just too commercialised) that we vowed to come back just to Koh Khai on our next trip....

This time round, we found a tour that goes to only Koh Khai... perfect! We set off around 10am, arrive at the pier at 11.30am and are on Koh Khai in 20 mins.

The fish were really hungry when we got there since the masses who come to visit after Phi Phi had not yet arrived. We were smart this time round too, we'd bought 2 loaves of bread at the convenience store near the hotel - cheaper than what they'd sell on the island! We had fun feeding the hungry fishies!

We also spent time on Patong Beach, which Rommel and I didn't get much time to do on our last trip (3 days was NOT enough!). We thought this picture was really funny cos I was trying to take a picture of Rommel and a drop of seawater got in the way.

Still on Patong Beach, I slept on the beach while Rommel and Fatteh jetskied. The people there were so kind to move the umbrella as the sun was setting so that it wont get into my eyes. Great service!

We also drove around Phuket (which is really easy by the way, can't really get lost as long as you have a map!). We stopped at one of the peaks which had great views of the island. There we met this friendly dog who ran over to my mom the moment it heard her open a Ferrero Rocher packet. Smart!!

Lastly, shopping in Phuket is amazing too! Not only do they have the el-cheapo t-shirts and cheesy souvenirs (for those who like those things), we found this shop in Jung Ceylon shopping mall that sold t-shirts designed by locals called Monkey See. I found this knitting-related top there!

We have more pictures from Phuket lurking around but this is all I have at the moment... Ta!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Winter wardrobe all set... I hope

I've been busy knitting and crocheting hats and scarves for the family in preparation for our London/Paris trip.

Recent FOs include:
1) Grey hat and scarf set for my dad. Both are very simple knits. The hat is simple stockingnette in a round with gradual decreases on the top. The scarf is the most basic - garter stitch scarf. But I didn't have the time to make something more elaborate because I'd also spent time looking for an ideal yarn. I finally

2) For Rommel, I had made Boo scarf a year ago. A simple checkered pattern with Rowan RYC Luxury Cotton DK in a brown/black mix which he bought for me from John Lewis Oxford St last year. This time, I made him a matching hat from the same yarn but I decided it might not be warm enough given how cold it's been in London! So I made him another hat using leftover Debbie Bliss Merino Aran in black.

3) Another black hat - this was crocheted with minimal stretch using the same Debbie Bliss Merino Aran but ended up being too small for Rommel. I think it fits my dad's head alright but if he feels uncomfortable with it, I can wear it! This is a spare hat.

4) For my sister, I made the Ice-cream sundae hat using Katia Austral which I got from Jet Sun. The name should say it all - the yarn is striped in really sweet pastel colours. I followed the basic hat pattern from my Knit Cafe book.

5) Lastly, a simple garter stitch stripe scarf made with the softest and possibly most expensive yarn I have: two skeins of Misti Alpaca - one in teal and one in baby blue. Purchased from Loop, Islington. To share between my sister, mom and myself.

For us girls, I can go into more detail about what we are planning to wear:

Our winter wardrobe includes our matching earmuffs, scarves and gloves sets from Burberry - I'd bought the purple and orange ones in London years ago and we got the pink set in Hong Kong in 2002.

Next, winter coats - my mom will finally be able to use her Max Mara olive green coat with rabbit fur trim. She bought it three years ago in preparation of our Japan trip but she then had her fall and surgery so we cancelled that trip. I was supposed to be good and just use the existing coats we have but I saw this really nice dark brown one in Massimo Dutti last weekend and bought it. My sister is wearing "Foxy", our Max Mara cream coat with fox fur trim.

Footwear: My mom bought 2 pairs of boots in the past weeks while I bought a pair from Aldo. I'm having a tough time deciding what other pair of shoe to bring along. My sister is going with her basics - closed-toe Birkenstocks with socks. Rommel has also gotten a new pair of boots for the trip - Timberland.

Sorry there are no pictures of the recent FOs - I rushed to make them, then got them washed and have kept them with the rest of the stuff we have to pack - which is all dumped onto my brother's bed for now. Will post pictures of all of us wearing them during the holiday!

Ta for now, back to work... Have a good weekend!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Missing the beach

Patong Beach, Phuket, originally uploaded by petrinaknits.

Just wanted to post this picture I took of Rommel and Patrick during our sunset swim in Patong Beach, Phuket. They had just finished a round of jetskiing while I spent my time napping on the beach.

We were trying out my new Olympus Tough - waterproof to 10m and shockproof to 2m.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Senior Citizens Luau - more pics

Pictures courtesy of SFX panel of photographers. All were taken from Flickr. Many thanks!

Our cupcakes look really vibrant here!

My sister and some girls from the Youth Ministry are taking the cupcakes out of the boxes for display and distribution.

(L-R): Rommel, myself, my sis, my dad, the cute Hawaiian balloon girl.

And a pic of my mom (in bright pink) and friends.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday Shen and Mel!

It's my sister's birthday weekend and unfortunately the office has planned a white water rafting trip which I can't escape from. But I'm looking at this as another way for me to rid myself of my fear of water (which was the main reason why I took up diving all those years ago!).

Wish us all luck at the rapids!!

Shen, shall we get the parents to make it up to you for leaving you alone on your birthday with a trip to Japan in spring?

Anyway, Rommel and I are off to watch the Michael Jackson "This is it" movie.

Happy Halloween! Happy Birthday Shen and cousin Melissa, the two Halloween big babies....

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Senior Citizens Luau 2009

My mom volunteered my sister and I to bake cupcakes for this year's Senior Citizens Luau. What we didn't was that there were going to be more than 300 people at the event. By the time we found out, we'd already committed anyway so away we went...

The event was on a Friday night so we had to bake everything on Thursday night. I rushed back from work early and between 6.30pm to about 12.30am, we baked 420 cupcakes. I was back in the office at 7am the next morning and rushed home at lunchtime to decorate the cupcakes before rushing off for a meeting that evening. Talk about madness!! It didn't help that the announcement of the privatisation of one of my companies came at that time. Sigh...

So anyway, here are the cupcakes before we started decorating.

A shot of the decorated cupcakes.

Here I am with Rose, our new Cambodian maid. She's spreading the icing onto the cupcakes while I decorate with the sugar flowers.

We stored and transported the cupcakes to church with these boxes from Bake with Yen.

And here they are ready to be distributed in church. I decided to use these paper flower cases as a base as it ties in with the Hawaiian theme.

Are we ready to go professional? I don't know...

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

MIGF 09: Sagano, Renaissance Hotel

Rommel emailed a link over sometime 2 weeks ago, reminding me that this month is the Malaysian International Gourmet Festival (MIGF).

After scouring the MIGF website, he decided that the best deal seemed to be the one in Sagano. So of course, at the next available dinner slot we had (which was 2 Saturdays ago), my sister, Rommel and I decided to check it out. I was a bit disbelieving that the price for the entire set was RM119 (without wine) so I actually called to confirm it.

Since it is a Japanese restaurant, we decided we could dress up in kimono. This is my first time in a proper kimono, all other times I've always worn yukata because the weather is just too warm. Here my sister is fixing my obi in her room.

And now, the food:

The appetiser platter:
* Foie Gras Finger Sushi with Sweet Black Pepper Sauce
* Sea Urchin Egg Tofu with Sea Urchin Sauce
* Live Oyster with Japanese Citrus & Chili Paste

Salmon sashimi with Mango and Wasabi sauce

Paper-wrap Sea Bream with two kinds of Sagano Seafood Sauce

Grilled Marinated Wagyu Beef with Vegetables

Deep Fried King Prawn with Butter Cream Sauce (my favourite course in the entire meal)

Hokkaido Scallop & Shimeji Mushroom Rice in Japanese Pot with Cream

The menu

We had fun in the tatami room while waiting for the dishes.

Since we decided that it was pretty value-for-money, we took our parents there again the following Saturday. Of course my sister wore kimono again.

I felt like dressing comfortably that day and opted for a Calvin Klein dress (80% off at the FJ Benjamin sale 2 weekends ago!) and my favourite cream M&S cashmere cardigan. Here I am knitting Rommel's winter cap while waiting for the food while my mom looks on. She's wearing a kimono-inspired dress from Blum Singapore.

Nom! The offer lasts til the end of the month.

Restaurant: Sagano, Renaissance Hotel
Tel: +603 2162 2233
MIGF menu costs: RM149 (with wine), RM119 (without wine) and RM79 (light menu without wine).
Note: Quote the MIGF menu when ordering. If you order the MIGF menu, you can sit in the tatami rooms for no extra charge (otherwise it's RM100). Corkage is RM80/bottle.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Sage tonight? Yes please...

I'm looking forward to dinner tonight. Godbro Sunny and wife Mona are back in town so we're off to feast with them again!

Every time they come back from Indonesia, we make it a point to feast. The last "big" feast was during their wedding week earlier this year - the chef's menu at Sage, a full Chinese banquet dinner at the PJ Hilton and a romantic evening at Chalet, Hotel Equatorial - all on separate nights, of course!

So, tonight, it's Sage again. We first took Sunny and Mona there at the beginning of the year. All of us thoroughly enjoyed it and so I think it's almost become tradition now that everytime they're back we head there.

I haven't been to Sage in a while actually - a combination of trying new places, trying not to eat out so much and having been out of KL for holidays - so it's a welcome treat. (I can't say the same for my mom who is practically there at least once a week, so much so that the staff there are way too familiar with her.)

I've been a bad blogger though. I have all these slips of paper with that particular day's chef menu on them but I've just left them around my room. I should scan them all one day and post them up. :D

Other posts I've not been able to blog about:
- NeroTeca: Took Rommel and my sister there for lunch last Saturday and we had fun!
- Sagano: Great food for a great price! My sister's blog about it here.
- Trips to Phuket and Singapore: Plus foodie pics.
- Knit FOs: a couple of winter hats and scarves in preparation for London!

Monday, 5 October 2009

I've been tagged

These words are in Portuguese, which mean,
"This Blog Messes with my senses"

Thanks so much Annie for tagging me! I always look forward to your very inspiring posts and your projects are always so well made!

The rules are:
1. Show the above tag in your blog.
2. Post these rules.
3. Link back to the blog that tagged you.
4. Make a list of the 5 senses and what each one represents for you. (I have change this and added pictures)
5. Tag five other blogs, and let them know by leaving them a comment.

My 5 senses are:

1) Sight: I love the beach and of all the beaches I've been to, one of the best is Khai Nok Island in Phuket. If only I could wake up everyday to a sight like this!

2) Sound: of what else? of waves rushing to shore.... (My sister is relaxing on a hammock at the Lone Pine Hotel in Penang.)

3) Smell: of durians.... because we've been having durians at home lately. (Here is my niece Ashley licking her fingers after all of us gorged ourselves silly with durians in Penang.)

4) Taste: My most favourite of all local dishes - assam laksa from Air Itam in Penang. Nom..

5) And finally - Touch: Nothing feels softer than cushy yarn... My sister sent me a box of goodies from London...

Saturday, 3 October 2009

New pictures of old FOs

Sometimes it's fun to dig out my old FOs for a little photoshoot....

Here's Lydia cowl - take 2. I still haven't weaved the ends in for this. Lazy me...

I would like to claim that I made the shrug in the next 2 pictures but sadly, no I bought it in Bali at this cute little Japanese-owned shop called Kunci Bali. It's situated along one of the main streets of Ubud near the famous Dirty Duck restaurant. We happened to pass by after our massage and SangSpa.

Snow White - one of my most used shawls.

And the Green Fairy....